A blog about me and my adventure as an ex-pat.
Because someone told me to... Thank you Gaby.

Friday, March 22, 2013

modern technology

I remember watching Star Trek and thinking the technology was so unbelieveable it could never happen. Watching Demolition Man set in 2032 where cars drive themselves... yeah like that will ever happen?!

But it is! In 2013! There are plenty of cars with parking assist as Jeremy Clarkson showed us on an  episode of Top Gear where a Kia Cee'd parallel parked itself! Even I can't do that but a car with no brain (OK so I might have lost several brain cells through University and the birth of my babies) can park itself?!

I remember the days when we didn't have mobile phones. Where you made plans in advance or just turned up at the pub, knowing at least one or two of your friends would be there. You made plans and you stuck to them. You rang your friends from the phone box on the corner and got through to their Mum first.

I remember floppy disks and writing computer programmes to make a robot move. Loading games on my spectrum with a tape player. It took 30 minutes and then would crash and you would have to do it all over again!

I also remember the days before the internet. I remember learning what the internet was at University and trying it out in the computer lab... You know, the place where you had to queue for a desktop computer and then go down 3 floors to the printing lab and hope the assignment you printed off is OK to be handed in because you have left it too late to go back and wait for another computer. I had to go into Uni to hand in my assignments or work on the computer or look up information in the library - you know in a thing called an encyclopedia! Now you 'Google' everything you need to know and send your assignments in on your laptop or ipad without getting dressed or even leaving your bed!

I can pay cheques into the bank using my phone.

I can watch tv on my iPhone. And Jeremy can use the same app to watch something completely different on his. I can watch the internet through my tv. I can pause and record tv. I don't have to adjust an ariel or tune my tv to the right channel. I have 300 channels to choose from not 3. Yes I was there when they launched Channel 4 in the UK!

I read books on a Kindle. I can get the next book in the trilogy in about 30 seconds. I love books. I love looking at them on a bookshelf but they take up so much room that the Kindle is just easier. Records and tapes have been replaced with CDs and iTunes. Before long the kids will not believe we had bulky DVDs or CDs.

I have thousands of photos on my camera, my phone and the laptop. More than I have time to do anything with. Remember the 28 or 32 photos you got when you had your film developed? With all the stickers saying the photo was over exposed or the film was damaged. It was a gamble but exciting to go to the shop and see which ones came out ok.

I can talk to friends and family all over the weekend thanks to Skype.

Facebook, texts and emails keep me sane. They are the way I keep in touch with everyone, especially all of those dear people in Europe. First there was friends reunited and now there is a political minefield in Facebook. I hear a lot of people ditching it as they see it as a waste of time. And I can totally understand that. But personally I hope it stays in some form or other for as long as possible.

Reading blogs and looking at Instagram, I can 'connect' with people all over the world, half of them I have never met! I am so nosey that blogs fascinate me. I follow the story of a family in Oklahoma who adopted a baby from China, a lady in Australia who writes about photography, a lady who designs beautiful fabrics and another lady who lives in Martha's vineyard, loves England and writes cookbooks.

Technology blows me away. There are so many more things that I haven't mentioned. I cannot keep up with the latest gadget or way of doing things. I try but it won't be long before the kids are teaching me! It's not all good though and the thought of my kids having access to the internet scares me. I will just have to deal with that when it happens.
And many hours are wasted playing games on my phone or trying to retrieve all of my calendar info when I get a new phone. Technology can make life easier but it can also bring a whole load of stress!
We are heading back to the UK next week and were thinking we might be able to watch a movie or two, when I suddenly thought, I don't know how to rent a movie in the UK anymore! Here we still have video stores or can rent one through the cable or itunes. I have no idea what to do in the UK!

Is simple better? Maybe for an old lady like me!

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